If you’re running a catering business or a restaurant, you need to provide your customers with some way to carry their food. This is especially important if you are providing delivery services. Even restaurants, though, have to give customers a way to take their food to go if they don’t finish everything on-site. The choices of containers for caterers and restaurateurs alike come down to one of materials. There are a few different materials that are used to package food and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. The material you choose depends on what kind of image you’re trying to send as well as what kind of food you are selling.
Aluminium is a popular choice for disposable food packaging. It is a lightweight metal that comes in many different shapes and sizes. You can find aluminium packaging to fit just about any type of foodstuff. It is inexpensive, so your customers won’t have any qualms about throwing it away. However, it is sturdy enough that they could keep it indefinitely if they so choose. They can wash and reuse aluminium packaging, or they can just throw it away. That’s the signature strength of aluminium as a packaging material. Also, it is non-porous, so greasy food or liquids do not seep through the packaging.
The signature difficulty of aluminium is the inability to microwave it. Aluminium reacts very poorly when put in a microwave, by sparking and sometimes even inciting a small explosion. Therefore, customers will have to take the food out of the aluminium packaging if they intend to microwave it.
The demand for paper packaging has grown significantly in the last few years. In the past, paper was not a great material for anything wet or oily. The liquid would seep into the paper and eventually leak out. Modern paper packaging is thick enough that it doesn’t leak or turn soggy. Also, paper can be coated with wax or plastic so that it can hold liquids. Paper soup cups are a very popular choice because they are disposable. Your customers will not have any problem throwing away a paper cup, primarily because it is not reusable.
Lastly, paper is very popular because it is also biodegradable. If your customers compost or live in an area that traditionally composts its recycling, paper is a great choice. Your customers might have to shred the paper to encourage it to degrade quickly, but it isn’t entirely necessary. This practice reduces waste in the garbage can as well as in the landfill.
Styrofoam was once very popular, but has since fallen out of favour with certain groups. Styrofoam is a petroleum product that requires the use of fossil fuels. Despite the somewhat controversial nature of styrofoam, it remains very popular because no disposable material is better at regulating temperature. Styrofoam contains dozens of tiny holes that form pockets of air. Those pockets of air protect your hand from cold drinks or hot soup in the same breath. If you need an insulated container, nothing comes close to matching the properties of styrofoam.
Choosing a type of food packaging depends on prioritising which features are most important for your business.